A change in attitude and a renewed commitment to team was responsible for Notre Dames’ men’s successful title hunt in this Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board (TTHB) Outdoor Season.
Their league win represented the first Men’s Championship crown for the squad since 2004.
A ten-year drought came to an end.
And their new player /coach Darren Cowie said it all came down to the much cliched teamwork.
Cowie, who made the switch from QPCC in 2013 to expand his coaching experience, downplayed his own role in the team’s change of fortunes, saying the players all had innate abilities that they were able to bring out this year.
“Some of the habits the players had wasn’t the best in terms of attitude to training and there were only 6 -7 dedicated players but they stepped up from last season,” said Cowie.
He said at the end of last season, Notre Dame hardly had any sessions with the whole team coming out to training and they placed third.
After a team meeting at the beginning of the 2014 season, players spelled out their goals and suddenly he had 15 to 16 players at every session, and increased that number to more than 20 at the midpoint of the season.
“So it was really a renewed committed team approach that brought us all the success,” Cowie said.
Cowie said it was kind of strange that the main goal for the season was initially to get into the Big Four competition which flicks off June 11 to 15 at the National Hockey Centre in Tacarigua.
But halfway through the campaign, Notre Dame were battling with QPCC for the top spot and the players met and established a new goal.
“We thought we could not only qualify for Big Four
but win the Outdoor, and we saw a surge in dedication and commitment to training and in support at games,” Cowie said.
“It is a big achievement for the club. I mean, not to take anything away from the women who have been flying the flag for the club for a long time, winning league titles, Big Fours and indoors, but probably the men were living in their shadow and decided to step it up this year,” the national player said.
Now the goal is to win the Big Four, riding on the momentum now Notre Dame possess but keeping their excitement in check and not becoming overwhelmed with the Outdoor success.
Cowie was just happy to coach players who bought into his philosophy of work ethic.
“It is a good feeling in the end to see some of the principles I espoused, to see them used with players who weren’t as privileged or as talented but knew the positives of hard work and dedication and understood the fact that once we work hard we would get results and see it develop and turn into something successful,” he said.